May 5, 2021
Swift action to cut methane emissions could reduce the planet’s near-term warming by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study released on April 27, 2021 that appeared in The Hill.
The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that it’s possible to cut methane emissions from human activities in half by 2030.
It said that “pursuing all mitigation measures now” could slow near-term warming by around 30 percent, avoid one-quarter degree Celsius of warming by the middle of the century and chart the course for avoiding more than one-half degree of warming by 2100.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is significantly more potent than carbon dioxide, but it remains in the atmosphere for less time.
“Acting now and moving quickly to cut methane emissions is essential. Even modest delay would mean missing out on significant climate benefits,” Ilissa Ocko, the study’s lead author and senior climate scientist at Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement.
“To realize these climate benefits, decision makers need to address methane directly and not assume the problem will resolve itself as a result of policies to reduce CO2,” Ocko added.
The study says that three-quarters of emissions are projected to come from the livestock, oil and gas and landfill sectors.
What this means to you
A study published in the Environmental Research Letters found that it’s possible to cut methane emissions from human activities in half by 2030.
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